Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.
Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.
Enter our “Money Calendar” series.
In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in January 2022. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.
Jan. 1 — New credit card late fee thresholds take effect
Under federal law, the maximum amount that credit card companies can charge their customers for late fees can increase as often as every year — and 2022 will be no exception.
For the breakdown, check out “2 Credit Card Late Fee Amounts Increasing for 2022.”
Jan. 1 — Many health insurance plans take effect
If you recently enrolled in a new 2022 health insurance plan, or re-enrolled in the plan you had for 2021, your 2022 health insurance plan likely starts Jan. 1.
For example, this is the case for Medicare plans that seniors purchased anew or re-enrolled in during the latest fall open enrollment period.
It’s also the case for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plans purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, 2021. (ACA plans purchased between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15 will take effect Feb. 1.)
If your health insurance plan takes effect on Jan. 1, make sure to put your new insurance card in your wallet.
Jan. 1 — Medicare Advantage open enrollment period starts
As if Medicare isn’t complicated enough, this federal health insurance program for folks age 65 and older and folks with certain disabilities or conditions has multiple annual enrollment periods.
The main open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, while the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period runs from Jan. 1 to March 31.
Medicare Advantage plans, one of the two main types of Medicare, are offered by private insurance companies that are approved by the federal Medicare program. (The other type of Medicare, Original Medicare, is the traditional government-managed health care coverage.)
During the current enrollment period, folks with Medicare Advantage plans (with or without prescription drug coverage) have the option to do one of the following:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage).
- Switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare (with or without also enrolling in a drug plan).
If you make any changes to your plan during this open enrollment period, they will take effect on the first day of the month after your plan receives your request.
Jan. 18 — Deadline for estimated tax payments
This is the deadline for the fourth quarterly installment of estimated taxes for the 2021 tax year — the one for which your tax return is due by April 2022. This deadline applies to the self-employed and other workers who earn income that isn’t subject to withholding, who use IRS Form 1040-ES to pay this tax.
There is one exception of sorts, though: Self-employed people who file their 2021 federal tax return by Jan. 31 and pay their entire balance due with their return do not have to pay their fourth installment by Jan. 18.
Last week of January (presumably) — Tax season starts
The IRS has yet to announce the official start date for the next federal income tax filing season, the one for 2021 returns, but it’s a safe bet that it will be in the last week of January.
Once the start date arrives, you, your tax professional or your tax software will be able to submit your 2021 tax return to the IRS. And generally, the sooner you file your return, the sooner you will be able to receive any tax refund you are owed, as we explained last January in “9 Things You Should Know About Your 2021 Tax Refund.”
Exact date unknown — Social Security statements mailed
If you receive Social Security benefits, keep an eye out for your annual benefit statement, also known as an SSA-1099 (or an SSA-1042S, in the case of noncitizens who live abroad). The Social Security Administration mails these documents each January, as Social Security recipients need them to file their taxes. (Your benefit statement tells you how much Social Security income you received the prior year, which you must report on your tax return.)
If you don’t receive your SSA-1099 in January, or if you want a digital version for your records, you can get a replacement copy via your online Social Security account starting Feb. 1.
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